DANVERS — The Danvers football team had a solid stretch of play where it hit hard, produced points, and generally out-played its rival from Gloucester.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, that emotional play didn’t come until they had already fallen behind by three scores.
Danvers nearly erased a 22-point deficit, but couldn’t completely close the gap and suffered its eighth straight Thanksgiving Day loss to Gloucester, 28-19.
“When you give a rival momentum and confidence and make them feel like everything they’re doing is successful, it just makes their job that much easier,” Danvers coach Sean Rogers said. “You can’t wait until the second half to try to play football; it’s just too late at that point.”
Danvers, which finishes the season 5-6, managed only 55 yards of offense in the first half. The Falcons couldn’t get their dangerous ground game in motion, and they couldn’t slow down the Fisherman attack, either.
Gloucester junior running back John Curcuru broke touchdown runs of 62 and 28 yards in the first half, and senior quarterback Santo Parisi added a 29-yard scoring run to post the guests to a 22-0 advantage.
The Fishermen (4-7), who ended the season with three consecutive wins, nearly put the game out of reach late in the first half. Gloucester’s final drive of the first half stalled in the red zone just before intermission.
The first two quarters proved to be a wakeup call for the Falcons as they scored twice in the third quarter to make it a nine-point game (22-13).
“We just told our kids that they gotta start playing,” Rogers said. “They just were not playing football and we just put it on them to start playing and execute their assignments and be physical. When we started being physical we played much better in the second half. You just can’t wait until the second half to start football. That really hurts us today.”